Has the retail onslaught that the likes of eBay and Amazon have brought forth over the last decade or so taught anything to the likes of big box retailers? What about the fact that I can more easily, not to mention more conveniently purchase and download a new PS3 or PS4 game without even having to leave my fancy, fake-leather couch? Market disruptions are nothing new, and new ideas and new technology has always forced agile businesses into pivots, whether they liked it or not. Some companies however, still don’t seem to accept the reality of the market that is moving around them, and by some companies I mean GameStop. Just recently – yesterday in fact – Paul Raines, GameStop’s Chief Executive Officer, announced “that the company plans that to open 300 to 400 retail locations which will have a focus outside of games”. (SeekingAlpha, 28 March) Yeah, I’m scratching my head too – more brick and mortar overhead, and lots of it, but not to sell games. Rather, these new store shelves will house smart phones and wearable technology products. Still confused? So am I.
GameStop continues to get dragged down financially by its physical retail presence, even as it continues to shift towards digital markets. Hardware, software, and even used sales all declined in 2012, and the only business category to show growth was GameStop’s “other” category, which covers those digital markets.
Quick, someone sell me on the PS Vita. Anyone? Bueller? After taking a new 9-5 gig this past fall, I have found myself on the road for work as many as three weeks out of the month, meaning I wake up in a Holiday Inn Express (baller!) about 12 times per month on average. Some may call it depressing, others would also call it depressing. In reality the job is great, but I miss my PS3 (and my fiance, of course!). I am a pretty stubborn handheld gamer however, as the only system that I have ever stuck with was the original Nintendo Game Boy. For those of you reading this at the local Applebee’s after getting shot down for attempting to sneak into that rated-R movie tonight, I’m talking about the old school, black and white Game Boy that was about the size of a brick. The Game Boy with the color screen? That was still a few years out in my day. My only other foray into handheld gaming was the Sony PSP, which I actually owned on two occasions. My dilemma then is the same issue I put forth to you today: is the Vita worth it? Much like the Vita, the PSP had so few worthy games that justified the hefty purchase price. Once I beat the only good games in the library, and there was nothing new on the release list, it was back on the used hardware shelf at GameStop faster than you could comment below on how awesome my Photochop is. Welcome to SQ btw.